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College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Science

The Biobehavioral Subprogram

Teaching and Research

Control rack in the Bouton Laboratory
Control rack in the Bouton Laboratory
Teaching and research in Biobehavioral Psychology at the University of Vermont focuses on examining the behavioral and neurobiological components of learning, memory, and emotion. The shared focus among biobehavioral faculty provides a unique environment and learning experience for the student interested in learning, memory, and emotion. Graduate students in the subprogram can gain experience in a variety of behavioral and neuroscience techniques, including a number of different conditioning methods combined with genetic, lesion, pharmacological, neuronal recording, and anatomical techniques. Graduate courses include seminars in advanced learning theory, neuropsychopharmacology, and the neurobiology of learning and memory.

Graduate students conduct independent research in a student-mentor model. Students obtain a master's degree en route to the Ph.D. Following the master's degree, students complete a preliminary exam. Students are funded through graduate teaching fellowships or individual research assistantships.

The Biobehavioral laboratories occupy approximately 4500 square feet of space on one floor of Dewey Hall. State of the art facilities include wet lab space for conducting histological and molecular biological experiments.

Curriculum

As noted above, students in the General/Experimental program are admitted to work in specific laboratories with specific faculty mentors. They are strongly encouraged to be engaged in research at all times. Given the complementary foci of the five biobehavioral laboratories, there are many opportunities for collaborative projects that cut across them, and students have the option of changing mentors if their interests change.

Solution preparation in the Falls Laboratory
Solution preparation in the Falls Laboratory
Biobehavioral students must meet the general course requirements for Biobehavioral cluster.

In addition to taking courses, biobehavioral students participate in weekly lab meetings in which they discuss the research literature pertinent to their laboratory's interests. Different laboratories often get together for these lab meetings. There is also a bi-weekly meeting (the "biobehavioral cluster seminar") in which all biobehavioral students and faculty assemble to present their research and discuss topics of mutual interest. Researchers from other departments and other universities also often give presentations at the cluster seminar.

Faculty in the Biobehavioral cluster are also members of the University's Neuroscience Graduate Program, and can accept students through that program. If you are wondering whether the Psychology program or the Neuroscience program is a better fit for your interests and needs, please contact a Biobehavioral faculty member with whom you might be interested in working before you apply to either program.

Last modified February 27 2014 09:51 AM

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